After being shutout in the series opener, the Quad Cities River Bandits got back to their offensive ways including a six-spot in the seventh inning that helped them top the Cedar Rapids Kernels 9-4 on Wednesday night at Modern Woodmen Park.
The Kernels matched Tuesday’s run total with their first swing of the bat as Edouard Julien took Zach Haake deep with a leadoff blast that gave his club a 1-0 lead in the first.
The home run would mark the only blemish of the day for Haake, but he’d last just 2.1 innings after leaving in the middle of the third due to injury and was replaced by Christian Cosby, who saw the game tied up on Nick Loftin’s RBI single in the bottom half of the frame.
With one out in the fourth, Alex Isola quickly put an end to the tie and launched his team’s second home run of the night, another solo shot that put the visitors back on top at 2-1.
Ben Gross, the Cedar Rapids starter, retired Quad Cities one-two-three in the fourth and stranded a pair of runners in the fifth top complete his one-run five-inning start in line for the win, but in the bottom of the sixth, Michael Massey poked a base hit to right off of Owen Griffith and tied the game at 2-2 by plating Loftin.
After Cosby kept the tie in tact with a scoreless seventh, the River Bandits exploded out of their offensive funk and rifled off three-straight RBI singles courtesy of Jeison Guzman, Nick Loftin, and Vinnie Pasquantino before Michael Massey put the exclamation mark on the frame with a three-run blast off of Derek Molina to make it a 8-2 game.
Mitch Ellis worked his second of two scoreless frames in the eighth and stranded a pair of runners prior to Guzman’s sac-fly in the bottom half that extended the Bandits’ lead to 9-2.
Cedar Rapids got a pair of runs off of Jonah Dipoto in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI double by Seth Gray and an RBI groundout from Allante Hall, but it was too little too late as the righty got DaShawn Keirsey Jr. to bounce out to end the contest at 9-4.
Despite 3.1 innings of one-run ball from Cosby, the win went to Ellis (3-1) for his third of the year, while Griffith (3-4) took the loss by allowing five runs on six hits and one walk over 1.1 innings.
Game three of the series is scheduled to feature Anthony Veneziano (2-2, 4.18) for the Bandits, who will oppose Cedar Rapids’ Cody Lawyerson (0-0, 3.00) for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch at Modern Woodmen Park.